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Half of fracking wells in water-stressed areas

February 12, 2014
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According to a new report by green investment group Ceres, hydraulic fracturing is fueling demand for water that many areas in the United States are unable to meet, since they are already water-stressed.

Ceres claimed that since 2011 some 100 billion gallons of water have been used to drill 39,000 fracking wells across the country. What's more, about 55 percent of these wells have been drilled in areas that experience drought problems and almost half are in regions with water stress classed as high or extremely high, such as Texas. The situation is particularly worrying in Colorado and California, where almost all fracking wells are drilled in areas with high or extremely high water stress, Ceres found.

RELATED: Fracking-related water contamination confirmed in several states

A previous report from the group, released in May 2013, revealed that about 47 percent of the shale oil and gas wells in operation at that time were located in high or extremely high water-stressed areas.

Lead researcher of the project, Monika Freyman, commented that although fracking does not use as much water as agriculture or residential uses its impact is significant enough to add more water-stress to areas where water sources are already depleted. In addition, many regions are just not prepared for the water demand that comes along with oil and gas drilling and they have no plans to deal with the situation, she added.
 

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